Wednesday, September 25, a racist Snapchat video out of Mason City, Iowa was posted showing two white teens spewing racial slurs and other offensive content. The viral video has sparked outrage on Twitter and Facebook.
The one-minute Snapchat clip shows one unidentifed Mason City high schooler and the daughter of a Mason City police officer, using the N-word while saying how they wished [Black people] alive today could experience slavery.
One of the students says, “So, the N-word, it’s not supposed to be used in a derogatory manner, but, I don’t care. I usually say it to, like, joke around but like who cares what the f*ck happened to you some what years ago? It’s not like you experienced it. I wish you could experience it. I do too, like, wouldn’t it be fun to go pick some cotton?”
Bishop Talbert Swan who serves as the Bishop of the Nova Scotia Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, in Canada, posted the clip on Twitter.
The Mason City Police Department released an official statement condemning the students’ post. “This post was offensive, racist, and done in poor taste. The Mason City Police Department does not support this action in any way and has worked diligently to build relationships in our community and to improve the diversity of our organization… At this time, MCPD believes the content of the post is protected by First Amendment free speech. While offensive to nearly everyone who has seen it, First Amendment speech is limited only in time, place, and manner by law enforcement authorities. The Clear Lake Police Department has been asked to further investigate to avoid a conflict of interest.”
The statement ultimately brushes off the content of the video.
The Mason City School District’s statement is equally ineffective. “Our highest priority is to ensure the ongoing safety of students and staff at Mason City Schools and to be responsive to and supportive of all of our students’ needs. We encourage parents to talk with your children about their use of social media and the implications it can have on their family, friends, classmates and their community. We are working with the Mason City Police Department in this matter and we ask for everyone’s help in building positive relationships to help our community move forward together.”
Mason City school’s Superintendent, Dave Versteeg, revealed that the two students were disciplined, but would not specify how or the consequences.
Elliot Pace, a River City resident, told KIMT how the video’s offensive comments shocked him. He says, “When I first initially watched the video, I was pretty shocked, especially with some of the comments they made. There’s no place for that in the real world. I mean, I look at it like all life is equal. You can’t choose what color you are and that shouldn’t matter anyway.”
The case has been transferred to the Clear Lake police department to avoid any conflict of interest.